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Coastal Voices: Sutter Coast still working to sustain, improve area's healthcare

A few days ago I heard a story on the radio about the people of Ft. Bragg who are very concerned about the possible closure of their only hospital. The facility is bankrupt and “is barely hanging on,” according to the report.

Sutter Coast Hospital—like so many small rural hospitals—also continues to have its share of financial ups and downs, but our leadership team remains vigilant in exploring and implementing prudent operational changes that have helped provide some near term financial stability. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), provided much-needed health insurance coverage for many in our region. As a result, some care that would have traditionally been provided for free by Sutter Coast is now being at least partially reimbursed by the state Medi-Cal program.

At the same time that our leadership team has been working hard to preserve high quality service offerings and improve Sutter Coast’s financial health, we’ve also had to invest a lot of time and money over the past several months into fighting a lawsuit having to do with details relating to the donation of the property where Sutter Coast Hospital stands today.


Coastal Voices: Hard look at Ward, grand jury needed

It has now been nearly six months since the publication of the 2014 Grand Jury findings and the subsequent uproar over those findings regarding the DNSWMA. After a laughable and tepid response by the Authority's director to the charges laid by the Grand Jury and continued questions concerning both the report and the direction of the Commission in the current year isn't it about time someone actually looked into both the 2014 Grand Jury's path to the findings in the report as well as looking into Mr. Ward's empire.

If anyone with an open mind had attended just a few of the meetings of the DNSWMA in 2014 and simply listened, It was plainly obvious that Mr. Ward and his cabal were actively working against the three commissioners on the 2014 board to pursue a certain agenda.  The R3 Consulting Group's report quite clearly put a stake in the heart of Mr. Ward's agenda, placing certain members of the  2014 Commission squarely in the path of the ire of Mr. Ward and his Group.  When they didn't get their way, low and behold along comes a Grand Jury report placing the entire blame on certain members of that commission.  Maybe once an investigation of that Grand Jury occurs the Public can have some confidence in Del Norte Grand Juries going forward.


Thanksgiving Thoughts: Choosing between the two for a happy Thanksgivng

I was driving home tonight from Klamath, where I’m blessed to have a job working in child protection for the Yurok Tribe. It was one of those nights, windblown with the rain descending in sheets, the sparse traffic crawling along the 101, cursing some of those turns you can meet yourself on, when I went to one of those default settings that can come unannounced out of left field sometimes when the gas in your tank goes somewhere between half empty and dry. You look in the rear view mirror, taking a gut check, and then the pages somehow turned to some words I put to paper six years ago…


Coastal Voices: Missing crab on Thanksgiving, but safety comes first

The North Coast is undeniably crab-country. Our traditionally cold coastal waters have been perfect for producing some of our nation’s healthiest crab harvests.

This harvest, a time honored tradition since the mid 1800s here in Northern California, represents a change of season. We gather with our neighbors at local markets to purchase the freshest crab just days after the season opens. We come together to celebrate the holidays with friends and family by cracking crab and thousands of us roll up our sleeves and attend crab feed after crab feed to support our best local charities — usually toting personal butter warmers and lemon wedges.


Another View: No easy way to tell whoís who

America was built by immigrants and refugees. Inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty is this: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” When we hear about refugees fleeing from terror and death in Syria and Iraq, our first best impulse is to open our arms wide and welcome them. Then we recall the massacre in Paris, and hesitate. 


Coastal Voices: Why the silence about radiation?

Is it a stretch to look at a faraway and long ago event being the root cause of the current crab harvesting crisis in the Pacific Northwest?

I hardly think so when that event was the earthquake that  devastated a nuclear power plant at Daichi in  Fukushima, Japan. Radioactive elements have been spilling and purposely  released into the  Pacific Ocean ever since. Once the initial event occurred  and statistics were compiled/disseminated the China Syndrome event dropped from the radar and not a word has been whispered about it since.

Being so closely aligned with California commerce/recreation it is a veritable hot potato. The recall of a movie “Jaws” illustrates the point well, wherein a seaside community beach    became infested with a great white shark  with an appetite for human flesh. The mayor, realizing the loss of revenues to the city, went to great lengths to downplay the danger to surfer/swimmers.


Coastal Voices: Computer scams and hackers on the rise recently

Scams are hitting the computer industry harder than ever before and things are about to get worse. Most of the time these scams hit the unsuspecting individuals with little or no computer savvy. But, anyone can be a victim of these scams. Being a business owner in Crescent City who specializes in computers, networks and telephone systems, I see this on the rise more than ever before. I have been in the computer industry since 1981.

The problems with these scams is we allow it to happen to us. Sure it sounds good, but most of the time it isn’t. Once a month I get a personal call from someone notifying me that they detected a problem on my computer and it needs to be fixed. Now and then I let them talk the talk and it ends up with them telling me that in order to fix my computer they need to get access to it. Never allow anyone that you don’t know to get access to your computer, ever. I will tell you more about this later.

Another scam is someone claiming to be from Microsoft and they inform you that they detected a problem with your operating system or you are running illegal software and they are about to inform the FBI. Right. First and foremost, Microsoft never calls an individual (unless you first called them and opened up an event ticket). Could you imagine the logistics that Microsoft would have if they tried to call everyone? Also Microsoft would contract the FBI if you were doing something illegal not the people calling you.


Coastal Voices: Caltrans too slow with Last Chance

Albert Einstein said it first but it is applicable to our current situation — the height of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

One of the most important issues that affects Del Norte is Last Chance Grade. We’ve known that this was a huge problem since Kurt Stremberg lost his family when this area of Highway 101 fell into the sea, 43 years ago in the middle of the last century.

At the recent town hall meeting, when Caltrans District Director Charlie Fielder was asked about the progress of a long term replacement of Last Chance Grade, he stumbled for the words and basically he just said a long term solution is necessary.


Yes We Can: Great work going on, Last Chance is still troubling

What brings people to an area like ours, a small county of 29,000 people and a city of about 8,000?

Some families here are generational and of course our Native American tribes go back many years.

My father brought me to the Klamath River 66 years ago, in 1949. It must have had an impact on both of us as we returned each summer, me as a dockboy at Shorty’s Camp and Dad to get away from big cities and his work as a structural steel worker and welder.


Coastal Voices: Bar-O Boys volunteers ready to begin

It took a year and a half of red tape, but the idea of older adult volunteers mentoring the students at Bar-O Boys Ranch can finally become a reality.  Although it has been a long wait, volunteers who have been screened by the staff at the facility will be able to start sharing their knowledge and skills with boys in the program.

In April of 2014, Bar-O Boys staff contacted RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) in response to an article in the Daily Triplicate written by then RSVP Specialist Sharon Jourden. Kirk Taylor, senior counselor, liked the idea of tapping into the wealth of skills within the Del Norte older adult community.

RSVP helps community members aged 55 and up match their time and talents with opportunities for meaningful volunteerism in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.


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